FERGUSON, Mo. — Ella Jones made history in Ferguson on Wednesday as she was sworn in as the city’s first Black and female mayor.
She served as a council member for ward 1 for the last five years.
The city has not had a Black mayor or female mayor in its 126 years of existence.
“I am excited and I am very happy. I am truly grateful to God,” Jones said.
Jones’ inauguration was held at the Urban League’s Ferguson Community Empowerment Center.
According to a press release, Jones was sworn in by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice George W. Draper III and will be celebrated by St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, Bishop James E. Jones, Pastor of Greater Grace Church, Rev. Edmund Lowe, Presiding Elder of the St. Louis-Cape Girardeau District of AME Church, noted St. Louis Songstress Denise Thimes and Michael P. McMillan, President & CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.
Jones has been a Ferguson resident for more than 40 years. She has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri — St. Louis and completed training in municipal leadership from the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at UMSL.
Mayor Jones admitted running Ferguson won’t be easy.
“You see the people of Ferguson who are underserved, they don’t want your help. They want a hand up. The only way that we can move forward is that we must all work together. I’m not going to be the mayor of the seniors. I’m not gong to be the mayor of white folks or of blacks. I’m going to be the mayor for every citizen who lives in Ferguson,” Jones told the crowd.
Mayor Jones said she will work to bridge racial, economic and employment gaps in Ferguson.
“Ferguson we’re gonna work! Ferguson we’re gonna work! Ferguson we’re gonna work. Economic growth is ripe for it. We need good paying jobs where people can take care of their families,” she said.
In an interview on Today in St. Louis on June 3, Jones said she plans to be ‘very transparent.’
READ MORE: Meet Ella Jones
“I am going to be very transparent, matter of fact after my first 90 days in office I have already started putting a task force together so that we can do a town hall and the people of Ferguson would know the state of their city.”
Jones is also a pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and is on the boards of the Emerson Family YMCA and of the St. Louis MetroMarket. As a council member, she served on the human rights, traffic, landmarks, senior citizens, parks and West Florissant Business Association boards.